19 January 2015

New Appointment – Dean of The Graduate School

The Vice-Chancellor is delighted to announce that Professor Margaret Topping has been appointed as the new Dean of The Graduate School.  This appointment marks an exciting milestone in the implementation of Vision 2020.  Professor Topping joined Queen’s in 2011 from Cardiff University and is a Professor of French Literary and Visual Cultures in the School of Modern Languages.  She will take up the new post as Dean of The Graduate School on 1 February 2015.

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Wellbeing Week 2015

Following the success of the 2014 Staff Wellbeing events, the 2015 Staff Wellbeing programme will be launched with a dedicated Wellbeing Week from Monday 26 – Friday 30 January 2015. The purpose of the week is to promote staff wellbeing and to raise awareness of the policies, benefits and initiatives already in place to support it.

During the week, staff will have the chance to try new physical activities such as yoga, pilates and kettlebells, participate in a relaxation session or attend a health promotion seminar.  All events are free and open to all staff. Staff will also have free access to Queen's Sport during Wellbeing Week.

Access the full Wellbeing Week schedule here.

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Comet Landing #ChatMat with Professor Alan Fitzsimmons

Staff are invited to attend a lunchtime talk by Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer in Queen’s Astrophysics Research Centre, on Monday 26 January, 1.00pm – 2.00pm, in the IRCEP Boardroom, Physics Building.

Part of the popular A Bite of Queen’s initiative, this #ChatMat event will give staff the opportunity to hear informally from Alan about the role of Queen’s astrophysicists in the first ever comet landing in November 2014 and will be followed by a Q&A session.  Read about the contribution of Alan and his colleagues to the historic project here. 

Register online here.  For further information, please contact

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NI Science Festival: 19 February – 1 March

The inaugural NI Science Festival starts on 19 February with an 11-day extravaganza focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Over 100 entertaining and informative events will take place at venues across Northern Ireland, including Queen’s.

Events at the University include: 'Electrifying Taster Days' with the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; 'Sun Watch at Queen's' with the Astrophysics Research Centre; 'Playspace' at the QFT; 'I’m a Psychologist, Get Me Out of Here' at the School of Psychology; and 'The Art and Science of Sound' Open Day at SARC.  The Sir Bernard Crossland lecture will  take place during the Festival, as well as a Celebrating Science at Queen’s exhibition at Riddel Hall.

Staff from CCRCB and the Centre of Excellence for Public Health will also be taking part in 'Bodyworks: Special Day of Activity' at W5.

To find out more about these events and the NI Science Festival, visit

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Internal Vacancies

This week's internal vacancies:
• Temporary Clerical Officer (Grade 4)
   School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
   Ref: 15/103685
   Closing date: Friday 30 January 2015
   This post is available immediately for one year.
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The Conversation

Two articles by Queen's academics have been published in The Conversation this week:

Over 75 per cent of articles in The Conversation are republished in other publications, including The Guardian, The Independent and The New York Times.  This month, the BBC published a piece by Professor Jack Anderson from the School of Law on the Ched Evans controversy, as a result of an article he had written for The Conversation.

If you would like to write an article for The Conversation, please contact

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Freedom of Information and Data Protection – Online Training Programme Reminder

The University is required by law to comply with both the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 and the Data Protection (DP) Act 1998.  To support compliance in these areas, the University has developed a comprehensive range of FOI and DP Policies and Procedures – these are available through the Registrar’s Office website.

Under the legislation, the University must ensure that its staff are provided with training on both FOI and DP.  To address this, an online FOI and DP training programme has been developed, aimed at improving staff awareness of both FOI and DP, and at reinforcing the University’s statutory obligations in this area.  The programme has two modules – one on FOI and one on DP.  Both modules are followed by a short test, designed to gauge understanding of the legislation and the practical issues involved in its application.  The test may be undertaken as many times as required to reinforce learning and to allow the pass mark of 100% to be achieved.  In total, both modules will take approximately one hour to complete.  

As a member of University staff, you have two specific responsibilities in this area  these are set out below:

(i)    You should ensure that you are familiar with the FOI and DP Policies and Procedures, accessed through the Registrar’s Office website;

(ii)   You are required to complete both modules of the online training programme, attaining 100% in each test.  The modules are accessible under “Services” – “Other” – “Online Training” in Queen’s Online (

Any queries in relation to the FOI and DP Policies and Procedures, or the related training, should be directed to Amanda Aicken in the Registrar’s Office, 028 9097 2506,

Completion of both programmes is mandatory and it is the responsibility of all staff to have undertaken this training at the earliest opportunity. 

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Inaugural Lecture: Professor Chris Irwin

Staff are invited to attend the inaugural lecture by Professor Chris Irwin, Centre for Dentistry, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences.  The lecture, titled Gums, Wounds and Cancer – a role for the humble fibroblast?, will take place in Room G07, North Lecture Theatre, Medical Biology Centre.

It will be followed by a drinks reception in the MBC Foyer. RSVP to:

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Invitation to Queen's University Management School event

Queen's University Management School invites staff to attend an informal presentation by and discussion with Sam Woods of the Bank of England.  The event will be held in QUMS Lecture Theatre, Teaching Block, Riddel Hall, on Friday 23 January 2015, 10.15am – 11.30am.
Sam Woods is Director within the Financial Stability Strategy and Risk Directorate of the Bank of England.  His presentation will outline the key points from the Bank’s latest Financial Stability Report, which was published on 16 December.
To register to attend, please contact Grainne Herley,, 028 9097 5478.


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Centre for Experimental Medicine – Vision TRG Symposium

The Centre for Experimental Medicine is pleased to announce that the Vision TRG Research Symposium will be held on Friday 20 February 2015 at the Education and Clinical Skills Centre (within the Elliott Dynes Centre, opposite the Hospital for Sick Children), Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast. 
The symposium will bring together scientists/clinicians from Queen’s, University of Ulster and NHS Trusts throughout Northern Ireland to facilitate translational vision research.  
There will be a number of keynote lectures from world-renowned vision scientists, together with a selection of short talks and poster presentations to showcase the best of local research in the field of vision science.  Best Poster prizes will be announced at the end of the meeting.
Please contact Geraldine McDonald,, for further information.
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Queen's Sport

Staff Come and Try Week: Friday 23 – Friday 30 January

Make the most of your mornings, lunchhours and weekend at Queen’s Sport during the University's Staff Wellbeing Week with free entry into the PEC for all Queen’s Staff during off-peak hours (Monday – Thursday, 6.30am to 3.30pm, and ALL day Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Why not try out Queen's Sport's three gyms, swimming pool and racquet sports, or book yourself a class or five-a-side pitch  all free of charge for one week only.  For more information or to book a class or pitch, please contact Queen's Sport Reception on 028 9068 1126.

For information on staff membership, click here.  Sign up for a staff package before the end of January and receive a free Queen's Sport T-shirt (worth £30).

Adult Activity Programme

Queen's Sport's new Adult Activity Programme has been released and staff can sign up for courses ranging from yoga and pilates to boxing and kettlebells. Courses run for eight weeks and commence week beginning Monday 2 February 2015.  Spaces are filling up fast, so book your place now and “kick start” your 2015. For more information, click here.

Children's Activity Programme - last chance to enrol

Book your child on to Queen's Sport's fun and exciting Children’s Courses ranging from gymnastics and trampolining to basketball and climbing.  All the activities begin today, so why not give your child the gift of sporting fun at Queen's Sport.  For more information, click here.

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New Jewellery Range at the Welcome Centre

The ultimate in up-cycled, eco-friendly fashion, Thrashion’s gorgeous skateboard pendants, bangles, rings and studs are now available from the Welcome Centre.  Thrashion’s eye-catching pendants start life as old, broken skateboards that are then carved and varnished into beautiful shapes.  This is recycling at its best, so why not go along and see the end product for yourself. 

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This week at QFT:

WHIPLASH: A gifted young drummer finds himself challenged by a brilliant mentor intent on pushing his student to greatness in this multi-award winning, must-see drama.

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH: Intelligent and free-spirited Vera (Alicia Vikander) plunges into an intoxicating romance with Roland (Kit Harrington), before the onset of war risks shattering her dreams in this searing account of love, war and remembrance, based upon Vera Brittain’s classic WW1 memoir.
NT LIVE: TREASURE ISLAND: Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic coming-of-age story is reinvigorated with Bryony Lavery’s thrilling new stage adaption which takes you on a journey across the high seas as the pirate’s secrets are revealed.
Coming up from Friday: A Most Violent Year, The Last of the Unjust, Bolshoi Live: Swan Lake.
Staff ticket price: £5; standard ticket price: £6.50.
Please visit for more detai‌ls.
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QUB Teaching Awards 2015: Briefing Session
A briefing session on the QUB Teaching Awards Scheme will be held on Thursday 22 January 2015, 12.45pm – 2.00pm, in Conference Room 2, Level 1, Student Guidance Centre.  A sandwich lunch will be provided.
To register, please email Liz McDowell,
Further details about the Teaching Awards, including podcasts of brief interviews with the 2014 Teaching Award winners, are available here
Continuing Professional Development
The 20142015 courses are now available for booking via the iTrent system.  Please note that, as there are limited places available on each course/event, early registration is recommended.
  • Wednesday 21 January: An Introduction to Queen’s Online for Learning and Teaching (You must be registered to use Queen’s Online with access to one of your modules), 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Friday 23 January: Small Group Teaching, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 28 January: Preparing and Giving Lectures Part 1: tips and theory, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 4 February: Preparing and Giving Lectures Part 2: practical session, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Guest Speaker Series 2014–2015
  • Wednesday 25 February 2015: Engaging home and international students: a practical theory, 1.30pm – 4.30pm, Seminar Room 1, IPSC.  Dr Rachel Scudamore, University of Nottingham, will lead a session offering a theoretical framework for thinking about educating home and international students, and suggesting practical strategies that colleagues elsewhere have found effective in their own teaching.
Registration for all courses and events is via Queen’s Online  For more information, click here.
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STDU Courses

There are places available on the following STDU courses:
  • Friday 23 January: Effective Use of Voice – Find Your Voice, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 27 January: Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH), 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 January: Writing for Publication – Researcher Writing Retreat (2 days), 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 4 February: Staff Wellbeing – Improving Personal Resilience, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 9 February: Computer Workstation Risk Assessment, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 11 February: Health and Safety for Co-ordinators, 9.30am – 12.30pm
 Leadership and Management Development Opportunities 
(Aimed at Professional Support Staff Grade 7 and above and Academic Staff Grade AC2 and above)
Book now for the following Developing for Success workshops in January/February:
  • Tuesday 27 January: Effective Team Working, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Thursday 5 February: Communicating Effectively, 9.00am – 1.00pm

The full 2014-15 Course Programme can be viewed online at:

To book a place on a training course, log onto Queen's Online - - then select Training Courses from the list on the left of the page and follow the link for iTrent Self Service.
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IT Training courses

Places are available on the following courses:
  • Tuesday 20 January: Web Authoring: Introduction to CMS (Content Management System), 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 27 January: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors), 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Wednesday 28 January: Introduction to Project Management and the Use of Associated Templates, 10.00am – 11.00pm
  • Thursday 29 January: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators (Owners) and Site Contributors), 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Tuesday 3 February:  Adobe Photoshop 1: Basic Digital Image Editing, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 4 February: Using Social Media for Teaching and Research, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 11 February: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook 2013, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 23 February: Facebook for Beginners, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 25 February, Excel 2: Managing Data, 10.00am – 1.00pm
Courses can be booked through Queen’s Online.   Course dates can be viewed at:
ECDL – The new improved test system allows the candidate to practice and diagnose what topics need revision (note – this is not used for ECDL Advanced).  For more information on ECDL:
The next test date is Tuesday 20 January, 9.30am to 11.00am
 Tip of the day: Using Styles in Word means you can automatically create a table of contents. To find out more, go to
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